Russian Su-35 Targets and Destroys Ukrainian Radar Station using New Kh-31PM Missile

Developers claim that the Kh-31PM is better than U.S.-made Patriot
  • bureau
  • 04:59 AM, December 5, 2023
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Russian Su-35 Targets and Destroys Ukrainian Radar Station using New Kh-31PM Missile
Su-35 that eliminated Ukrainian Radar Station @Russian state media

In a recent military action, a Russian Su-35 fighter jet targeted and destroyed a Ukrainian Armed Forces radar station in the Svatovsk direction using an upgraded variant of the Kh-31P missile.

According to the Ministry of Defense (MoD), multi-role fighters equipped with missiles of various classes conducted patrols in the specified area, providing cover for bombers, attack aircraft, and helicopters engaged in air strikes on military targets and equipment belonging to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The MoD stated, "During a flight in the Svatovsky direction, radiation from an enemy radar station was detected. A Kh-31PM air-to-surface missile was launched at the target. Following the missile launch, radar radiation from the target ceased and was not detected during the subsequent task execution."

Kh-31P better than American Patriot?

In a June 2023 report from Russian news agency TASS, Boris Obnosov, the General Director of the Tactical Missile Weapons Corporation (KTRV), emphasized the superior performance of Russian Kh-31P anti-radar missiles compared to missiles from the U.S.-made Patriot anti-aircraft missile system. Obnosov, stated in an interview with Russian state-owned media, "We have long had modeling modules that allow us to compare our missiles with American ones, and we have a new Kh-31P anti-radar missile, which is better than American Patriot missiles in all combat situations."

In a previous interview with TASS, Obnosov asserted that the Kh-31PD missile could outperform the Patriot system in duels. Highlighting the strategic role of aircraft armed with anti-radar missiles in contemporary combat operations, Obnosov mentioned, "Aircraft armed with anti-radar missiles play a decisive role in today's combat operations in ensuring the conquest of airspace over enemy territory."

Russian Su-35 Targets and Destroys Ukrainian Radar Station using New Kh-31PM Missile
Kh-31PD missile

Obnosov further praised the KTRV Kh-31P missile, citing its notable performance during the Georgian conflict in 2008. The updated Kh-31PD variant is equipped with a broadband homing head covering the entire range of current and anticipated frequencies of air defense systems employed by potential adversaries.

Kh-31PM specifications

The Kh-31PM is an upgraded anti-radiation missile, designed to counter air-defense radars like those associated with the U.S. Nike Hercules, Improved Hawk, and Patriot systems. It retains the aerodynamic layout of the Kh-31P but features an improved 31DP propulsion system, increasing its range without significant weight gain.

The Kh-31PM employs the L-130 multiband seeker developed by Omsk Plant 'Avtomatika' (CKBA), offering extended range and improved resistance to countermeasures. The Kh-31AM, developed in parallel, is an upgraded anti-ship missile with an improved RGS-31 active-radar seeker.

Russia's Tactical Missiles Corporation introduces the Kh-31PK to counter surveillance radars with mast-mounted antennas. It retains the existing powerplant and control system but incorporates a new proximity fuze (Kapila), an improved warhead, and a Block 27M seeker. The missile's seeker-cooling subsystem allows for extended mission durations.

As part of the Kh-31 modernization project, the Kh-31PM utilizes a new multi-band L-130 seeker, departing from the three interchangeable heads of the original Kh-31P. This evolution reflects ongoing efforts to enhance the missile's capabilities against emerging threats.

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